On February 8, 2018 the XXIII meeting of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Commission summed up its activities in the 2017 and outlined the main goals for the current year.
Members of the Commission agreed that protection of the cultural and educational rights of those affected by the Russian aggression in the east of Ukraine and the temporary occupation of Crimea is a priority for the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO.
“Under the conditions of war in the territory of Ukraine and temporary occupation of a part of its territory, our cooperation with UNESCO has to be focused on the protection of rights and freedoms of IDPs in UNESCO’s fields of competence. The assistance to the Crimean Tatar people – both in the temporary occupied Crimea and in mainland Ukraine – remains a high priority,” underlined Sergiy Kyslytsya, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairperson of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO.
The particular attention at the meeting was paid to monitoring of the state of cultural heritage sites in Crimea and the preparation of a registry of movable and immovable properties of cultural heritage in museum collections in the territory of Crimea. The accession of Ukraine to the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict was also discussed at the meeting.
Among the main achievements of the National Commission in 2017 in particular were mentioned the following: the two decisions by the UNESCO Executive Board “Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”, the agreement between Ukraine and the UNESCO Secretariat on the parameters of direct monitoring of the situation in the occupied Crimea, the UNESCO General Conference decision on the category 2 UNESCO center in Ukraine as well as on anniversaries, with which UNESCO would be associated in 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vasyl Sukhomlynsky.